What is a 'Yuppie'

Yuppie is a slang term denoting the market segment of young urban professionals. A yuppie is often characterized by youth, affluence and business success. They are often preppy in appearance and like to show off their success by their style and possessions.

BREAKING DOWN 'Yuppie'

Coined in the 1980s, the term yuppie was used as a derogatory title for young business people who were considered arrogant, undeservedly wealthy and obnoxious. Yuppies were often associated with wearing high fashion clothing, driving BMWs and gloating about their successes. The term has become less of a stereotype and now promotes the image of an affluent professional.

Yuppies tend to be educated with high-paying jobs, and they live in or near large cities. Some typical industries associated with yuppies include finance, tech, academia, and many areas in the arts, especially those associated with liberal thinking and style.

History of the Term Yuppie

There is some debate over who first coined the term yuppie, but many attribute this to Joseph Epstein, writer and former editor of The American Scholar. However, the first printed instance of yuppie was in a May 1980 issue of Chicago magazine entitled "From Yippie to Yuppie." Yippies, in stark contrast to yuppies, were affiliates of the Youth International Party, a counterculture group that emerged in the late 1960s. The term continued to grow throughout the 1980s as it was used in more newspaper and magazine articles.

After the 1987 stock market crash, the term yuppie became less political and gained more of the social implications it has today. Although its usage declined in the 1990s, it has since come back into the United States lexicon. It has been used and cited in articles, songs, movies, and other pop culture media. To name a few, the term has appeared in the novel and film Fight Club, the movie American Psycho, the satirical blog "Stuff White People Like" and the Tom Petty song "Yer So Bad."

The term yuppie isn't confined only to the United States – other countries, such as China, Russia and Mexico, have their own variations of yuppies that generally also carry the hallmark connotation of young, higher-class professionals. The term tends to spread and thrive in prospering economies.

In the 21st century, the term takes on new meaning while retaining the basic tenets of original yuppies. For example, due to the internet and growing reliance on electronic communication, the term yuppie could refer to a Silicon Valley tech worker that doesn't necessarily have the same social skills as the original yuppie, but still works for a prestigious company and makes a lot of money. This can make it harder to define yuppies, since it might not be obvious at first glance that these people have glamorous careers. Perhaps as a result, the term yuppie isn't used as widely as it was in the 1980s and early 1990s.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Eighthed

    A slang term used to describe when one trader undercuts or outbids ...
  2. Siliconaires

    Slang referring to young dotcom entrepreneurs in their 20s and ...
  3. Near Term

    Near term is a period of time referring to a short time into ...
  4. Fixed Term

    Fixed term describes an investment vehicle, usually some kind ...
  5. Recession Rich

    A slang term used to describe an individual who manages to do ...
  6. Medium Term

    Medium term is an asset holding period or investment horizon ...
Related Articles
  1. Managing Wealth

    Move Over, Yuppie. Here Comes the Yuccie

    If you're not a “yuccie” (“young urban creative”) yourself, it's time you learned who they are. Think artisanal - but not cheap.
  2. Investing

    6 Misconceptions About Investing Young

    Investing is not only for yuppies and rich old men. Start investing early to protect your future.
  3. Investing

    The 6 Most Successful Films of the 21st Century

    Discover which 21st century movie releases rank as the most profitable in terms of absolute worldwide gross and as percentages of the movies' budgets.
  4. Insights

    Portugal Economics: 4 Troubling Similarities to Greece

    Learn about the similarities and differences between the economic woes of Portugal and Greece, and get some statistics and analyses.
  5. Small Business

    Successful Companies That Improved With New Leadership

    The death of a successful corporate founder and CEO doesn't necessarily mean the company will fail. Many have flourished afterwards.
  6. Investing

    Tips for Managing Your Portfolio Before Turning 30

    Young investors have some advantages over their older counterparts. Learn how to build a portfolio to grow both your financial education and bank account.
  7. Financial Advisor

    The Next Generation of AUM: Finding Younger Clients

    Advisors who are able to reach younger workers can increase their assets under management.
  8. Tech

    Top Tips for Young Financial Advisors

    The aging financial advisory business will soon be creating opportunities for young aspiring advisors. Here's how they can set themselves up for success.
  9. Managing Wealth

    Make Money On The Movies

    If you think you know which films will tank and which will soar, this new way to trade could be for you.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How Did Rogue Trader Peter Young Become Infamous?

    Peter Young's notoriety as a rogue trader results from the bizarre events following his arrest. Read Answer >>
  2. How does industrialization lead to urbanization?

    Discover the connection between industrialization and urbanization and learn how economic growth increases the demand for ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Discount Rate

    Discount rate is the interest rate charged to commercial banks and other depository institutions for loans received from ...
  2. Economies of Scale

    Economies of scale refer to reduced costs per unit that arise from increased total output of a product. For example, a larger ...
  3. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations with its most liquid assets.
  4. Leverage

    Leverage results from using borrowed capital as a source of funding when investing to expand the firm's asset base and generate ...
  5. Financial Risk

    Financial risk is the possibility that shareholders will lose money when investing in a company if its cash flow fails to ...
  6. Enterprise Value (EV)

    Enterprise Value (EV) is a measure of a company's total value, often used as a more comprehensive alternative to equity market ...
Trading Center